Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar and it is one of the four scared months. Muharram commemorates the death of Husain ibn Ali in the battle of Karbala. This is a very sacred month and is of great religious significance.
Muharram 2013 Date : When is Muharram?
The Muharram date varies from year to year according to the Gregorian calendar because Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar and its 11 days shorter that the solar calendar.
In 2012 Muharram is on 15th November.
- In 2013 Muharram is on 4th November
- In 2014 Muharram is on 25th October.
Muharram is a time for mourning. Even though entire month is scared it is the tenth day ‘Ashura’ which is considered very significant for both the sects of Islam –Shias and Sunnis. It was on this day that Husain ibn Ali who was the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad was beheaded at a battle in Karbala. According to the legend Husain refused to accept the Umayyad Yazid ibn Mu’awiya as caliph. So when Husain along with his family and followers was heading to Kufa, Yazid’s troops surrounded them in Karbala which is en route to Kufa. They were arrested, tortured and killed. Husain who fought bravely was beheaded and surviving members of his family were taken to Damascus and imprisoned there.
While Sunni Muslims believe that it was on this day that Moses gained victory over the Egyptian Pharaohs.
How is Muharram Celebrated?
Muslims start mourning from the first day of Muharram and lasts for ten days. During these days they wear black clothes to express their grief and sorrow as black signifies mourning. On the tenth day which is the Ashura both sects observe fast with the Sunni Muslims fasting for an extra day either on the ninth or eleventh day. This practice is observed in accordance with teachings of Muhammad ProphetSome Muslims fast for the entire month. Majalis or assembles are held for nine days where Husain’s martyrdom are recited in great detail by orators. On tenth day processions are held in which banners and colourfully decorated taziyahs which are bamboo and paper replicas of the Husain and his followers who were killed in Karbala are carried. Replica of mausoleum of Hazrat Imam Husain at Karbala is also carried in the procession. This is a sad occasion for the Shias Muslims and many of them even flagellate their bodies with chains or whips to express their grief. People beat their chests and weep loudly chanting ‘ya Husain’. Generally a decorated white horse is also included in the procession. At the end of procession the taziyas are buried in specially dug graves.